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How do you write songs?


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I'm a writer.

They come to me in different ways.

Like one day I saw a sign at a trailer park. It read, "Luxury living with a heated pool".

That turned into a song.

It's easy.


Cherry lips

shinny painted finger tips

luxury living with a heated pool

penthouse playmate's life is cool

this has been copy writed so no stealing.

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My songs usually start out as letters i never intend to send. Most of my songs are consequently about love, or lack there of, which also means consequently they are often about what I've done wrong. I spend quite a bit of time just goofing around, not playing songs, just playing chords in random. When the right chords come out that creates a certain feeling... I dig out the letter notebook and find the right letter. I also rip people off a lot, I'll play some gnr or metallica and just plug in my own words, then adjust the rhythm of those, and throw in a minor here or there to set that depressed mood. It seems most of my songs end up with a lot of a d and e minor, even when they start out as being g-d-c.

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The few times that I've ever been able to write anything decent (and that's a relative term) is when it's just come to me without much effort. Amost spontaniously. The way my mind works, I'm always finding connections and comparisons between different lyrics, melodies, subject matter etc. When I try to come up with a melody or lyrics, it seems like I always end up subconsciously copying something else, or try trying so hard NOT to copy something else that I can't come up with anything.


Plus, the way I see it, there's so much great stuff allready written or still being written by professionals that nothing I could come up with would hold a candle to it.


If I have a talent, it's in imrovising and adding some original parts to an existing idea.

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I mostly write instrumental guitar music.


These days I have maybe 4 songs with words and I'll write the words first then find a melody then build the chords around the melody.


For the instrumental music it's usually one of two ways.


1. Develop the melody first then build the rhythm around it.


2. Develop a catchy rhythm, find a melody and play, then record the rhythm and tweek the melody.

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Hmm, I never really think about it. Sometimes I write an entire song in literally 1-2 hours in one sitting while other times it takes months because something is missing that I can't find for a while in it. I did

in less than an hour (mainly to learn about my new CUBASE 4 software); pretty mindless stuff. I keep a running library of "babble tapes" where I just sit on the piano or play guitar and just jam to myself. If I like something I try to convert it to a tune. I like all kinds of styles. Lately I've been thinking about orchestra scores for movies (Finale is a great program to write music).
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The first line is situational. Something triggers a thought and I instantly start think of the thought in a literary way. I always have a tune stuck in my head too. At this moment, for example, "Babe I'm Going To Leave You" by Zep is firmly there. So I then take the lyrics and team them to the tune that is stuck in my head. When I've had a chance to write the first line and have the rhythm still stuck I work on the other lines and chorus. Sometimes the chorus is first. When It's all finished lyrically I pick up my guitar and change the original melody so as not to rip off someones song.


Hell sometimes all the lyrics are done while driving home from work and I walk in pick up my acoustic and find some good tunes to mate with the music.

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I can't figure out the answer to this for myself! I've only written 10 or 12 songs, I think, and I'm not satisfied with most of those. But, for the couple that I think are "better" than the others...it seems to come with music first and words later. One I wrote on my own started as a strange little piano riff (I guess you'd call it that) and the words to the chorus of the song came to me as I was playing around with it. I then went to writing words for the verses and eventually worked out chords for that.


The other started as a catchy little rhythm that Homz was working on with his acoustic and something clicked for me and I wrote lyrics to accompany it.


My latest--and I can't decide if I like it or not--is one I wrote at work last night and it's currently lyrics only with maybe a vague idea for a melody. It started out more as a concept with some song inspirations floating around in my head along with some memories and some imagination thrown in. I was sort of free-associating ideas out of those songs stuck in my head and came up with an idea that I like and a couplet of lines that I thought would work. The rest came from there. Now either I have to sit down at the piano or I'm going to turn it over to Homz to work on some music. He's more creative with chords than I am.


The majority of my other songs made up the little children's album that I recorded for my son (and eventually shared with several kids in the family). The first song on that also started out with music and the words came later. From there, I worked on trying to come up with concepts and lyrics to fit some different styles of music (blues, western, rap, and your standard sappy kids' fare).


Hmm...I guess I just answered my own question. Apparently, it's usually the music that comes first. I think I end up getting too cheesy if I write a poem and try to set it to music.

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